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Contracts for Nanomaterials and Clean Technologies Awarded

Release Date: 07/14/2004
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819/

(07/14/04) To help create new commercial processes that benefit the environment, EPA has awarded $900,000 to four companies for development and commercialization of nanomaterials and environmentally clean technologies through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Nanotechnology, referring to material and device fabrication on an atomic or molecular scale, has great potential for both environmental contaminant removal and creating clean manufacturing processes that use less hazardous chemicals. Aeromet Technologies, Inc. of Sandy, Utah will craft a cleaner process for bonding steel tire cords to rubber during tire manufacturing, the largest commercial application requiring bonding of metal to rubber. The new bonding material based on nanoparticles will eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals such as cobalt and cyanide. Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc. of Torrance, Calif. will adapt immunoassays, highly sensitive biological laboratory tests, to develop field monitors that test more precisely for organic pollutants in water supplies and food processing. Intematrix Corporation of Moraga, Calif. will produce strong, lightweight composites from polymers and carbon nanotubes for applications such as auto manufacturing. Nanotubes are a sequence of atoms arranged in a long cylindrical structure that are excellent electricity conductors. Carbon nanotubes can enhance the strength and electric conductivity of automobile composites, eliminating the need for the present spray primer process with volatile organic compounds. TDA Research, Inc. of Wheat Ridge, Colo. will continue its work on environmentally friendly, foaming agents used in firefighting foams. Fluorine-free foams are being developed to replace those that are widely used but contain toxic substances. The SBIR Program was created in 1982 to spawn commercial ventures for small businesses that improve the environment, create jobs, and increase productivity and economic growth. An SBIR business must have less than 500 employees and at least 51 percent of the business must be owned by U.S. citizens. For more information, visit: